Thursday Edition


The IRS expects to collect up to $561 billion more in overdue and unpaid taxes from 2024 to 2034 due to increased enforcement funded by the Democrats’ Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. (AP)

Source: Treasury Department

A new analysis by the Treasury Department and IRS:

  • Initial projections by the Congressional Budget Office in 2022 estimated a revenue increase of $180.4 billion from 2022 to 2031 with new IRS funding.

  • Now, estimates suggest up to $851 billion could be collected if the Inflation Reduction Act funding continues.

  • The IRS announced last month it had recovered $500 million in back taxes from wealthy individuals.

  • The agency has also been directed not to increase audit rates for individuals making less than $400,000 per year.

President Biden has made going after the wealthy a big part of his platform, amid growing concerns about U.S. wealth inequality. Last year, he proposed increasing taxes on the rich. In 2022, he implemented a 1% tax on corporate stock buybacks and has proposed quadrupling this tax.

The GOP has come out against IRS funding: Republicans say increased IRS funding could lead to overreach and unnecessary audits. They negotiated deals last year to claw back $21.4 billion out of the $80 billion in IRS funding set out in the Inflation Reduction Act.


Ronna McDaniel is expected to step down as chair of the Republican National Committee after the South Carolina primaries. (CNN)

Here’s a look at the GOP’s results in major election years since McDaniel became RNC chair in 2017:

  • 2018: Republicans held control of the Senate, gaining two seats. Democrats took control of the House, netting 41 seats (the largest gain since 1974) and netted another seven more in governor’s races.

  • 2020: The GOP lost the White House after Joe Biden won the presidency over Donald Trump. Democrats took control of the Senate (+3 seats) and held the House, with Republicans netting 13 seats.

  • 2022: Political experts expected the GOP to take over both chambers of Congress in a “red wave.” While Republicans won the House by netting nine seats, Democrats held the Senate, netting one seat.

There have been concerns about how the RNC spent its money during McDaniel’s tenure. A RedState analysis published last week found the RNC spent more on what could be classified as vanity and perks categories, including limousines, media booking consultants and floral arrangements. In contrast, the Democratic National Committee spent more on voter outreach and organization efforts, such as GOTV texting, voter file maintenance and transferring funds to state parties.

Former GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy in a statement last year calling for McDaniel’s resignation: “I am sick and tired of this Republican establishment that has made us a party of losers. Where is the accountability for years of losing: 2018, 2020, 2022 and now 2023.”

One byproduct of America’s falling fertility rate? Teenage pregnancies have declined dramatically. (The Economist)

The data:

  • America's fertility rate dropped from 70.9 births per 1,000 women in 1990 to 56.1 in 2022.

  • Fertility rates fell 77% among 15-19-year-olds and 48% among 20-24-year-olds since the 1990s, but increased for women over 30.

  • Teenage pregnancies declined from 1 in 8 births in 1990 to 1 in 25 in 2022, contributing to a lower overall fertility rate.

The trend: A number of studies have documented how today’s teens are engaging in less risky behavior than previous generations. They’re drinking less, working less, having less sex and driving less.

A widely cited 2017 study tried to dig into why it’s happening. According to San Diego State University psychology professor Jean Twenge, one of the study’s authors, the shift is partially attributable to the internet and “helicopter parenting.” But overall it’s about teens delaying adult pleasures and responsibilities by adopting a “slow life strategy” in an age when people live longer and don’t have as many kids.

Twenge: “A ‘slow life strategy’ is more common in times and places where families have fewer children and spend more time cultivating each child’s growth and development. This is a good description of our current culture in the U.S., when the average family has two children, kids can start playing organized sports as preschoolers and preparing for college can begin as early as elementary school. This isn’t a class phenomenon; I found in my analysis that the trend of growing up more slowly doesn’t discriminate between teens from less advantaged backgrounds and those from wealthier families.”


Commentary Magazine editor John Podhoretz spotted a trend in the polling showing Americans won’t vote for presidential candidate Donald Trump if he’s convicted of a crime. (Commentary Magazine podcast)

Podhoretz: If you watch the polling over the last six weeks, the polling that says that Trump loses the election if he's convicted of a crime is going in the wrong direction for people who think that Trump should not be president if he's convicted of a crime. I mean, there was a sort of 20-point margin on it at one point, and now, at least in a couple of polls, it's in the single digits.”

A few months ago, here’s how voters’ opinions changed when asked if they’d still vote for a convicted Trump:

  • A New York Times/Siena poll of swing-state voters in November: Trump’s four-point lead over President Biden turned into a 10-point deficit.

  • A Reuters/Ipsos poll from December: 38% of respondents initially said they’d vote for Trump. Only 25% said so when asked to imagine he’s been convicted of a crime.

  • A Vanderbilt University survey from December: Trump's support among Tennessee voters falls from 45% to 37% if he's convicted.

Now, here’s what the latest polls say:

  • A new PBS NewsHour/Marist poll: Trump and Biden’s dead-heat turns into a 51-45 lead for Biden.

  • The latest NBC News national poll: Trump’s ahead of Biden by 5 points (47% to 42%). However, if Trump is convicted of a felony this year, Biden edges ahead 45% to 43%.

Podhoretz again: “We keep having this conversation about what it will mean if Trump is convicted or Trump has all these things against him. And I basically think that this is now priced in. … If he wins, he'll win because Biden can't do better than him, and the third party candidates are going to siphon off votes more from Biden than from Trump, and he'll get them in the right place. The country is not going to be rescued from Trump by a court ruling.”


The Senate yesterday blocked a bipartisan $118 billion border security and foreign aid package, adding it to the pile of failed immigration reform bills over the past few decades. (AP)

2005: The House passed the Border Protection, Anti-terrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act, aiming to tighten border security and enforce immigration laws, but it failed in the Senate.

2006: The Senate passed the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act, which proposed a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and enhanced border security, but was rejected by House Republicans, who wanted tougher enforcement provisions.

2013: The "Gang of Eight" bill, formally the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, passed the Senate. But differences between the Senate's comprehensive approach and the House's preference for a piecemeal, security-first strategy led to a deadlock, and the bill wasn’t voted on in the House.

The Trump years: While a number of immigration overhaul bills sprung up during Donald Trump’s time in office, none of them became law.

Brookings Institution senior fellow Elaine Kamarck: “Immigration reform may be as difficult in the third decade of the 21st century as it was in the first and second. This is in part because of a fundamental paradox. On the one hand, the United States is a country of immigrants; on the other hand, it is a country that has always been worried about being overrun by immigrants. And this makes reform especially difficult.”

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